Zinfandel is rich, bold and ready for just about anything.
Zinfandel lovers are a particular breed. By and large, “Zin-heads” are not tucked away in a dark corner. Zin-heads tend to revel at the boisterous table smack dab in the middle of the room. They’re the ones having a great time and wanting you to join the fun! Indeed, a juicy red Zinfandel is practically a party in a wine glass.
Although it is thought to be related to the native Italian Primitivo grape, Zinfandel is quintessential California. It is the most widely planted red grape in the state, and more of it is planted in California than anywhere else in the world. Much of it is used to make white Zinfandel, a slightly sweet blush wine. It is also sometimes used as a blending grape in other red wines.
But it is the ultra-ripe, intensely flavored red Zinfandel wines that have created the craze. They have a lush richness that is just plain hard to resist.
Zinfandel can be bright and medium-bodied or jammy and decadent. Either way, Zin’s raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, chocolate and spicy black pepper flavors are positively delicious.
One of the reasons Zinfandel is so much fun is that it’s not a wine that wants to be overanalyzed. No need to stare off into the distance as you try to discern the nuances of a vintage or the oak regimen of the winemaker. These are slurpably bold, richly flavored wines.